Farmers and producers

Fonterra business graduate named Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year

[18 March/The Country] James Robertson, a 22 year old Fonterra graduate has been named the Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year.  The event saw eight finalists complete a series of modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz. The p contest has undergone a major overhaul since marking its 50th anniversary in Invercargill last year to...

Federated Farmers says semi-automatic firearms have a place on farms

[18 March/Stuff NZ] Federated Farmers report there is still need for semi-automatic guns on farms. This is following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing that guns laws will change after last week’s deadly mass shooting in Christchurch. Of the 1.5 million firearms owned in New Zealand, an estimated 15,000 are registered military-style semi-automatic rifles (MSSA). Miles...

Welsh couple judged Waikato’s best share

[18 March/Stuff NZ] Marc and Nia Jones have been crowned Waikato’s best share farmers for the year. The title has special meaning for the couple after their farm owner Ian Elliot passed away suddenly in January after being diagnosed with cancer whilst on holiday in the Netherlands. Mr Jones stated that winning was very emotional...

Record them right in autumn rush

[18 March/Rural News Group] Sharemilkers take a big role in NAIT, even though they are the minority in amongst dairy and beef farmers. Richard McIntyre, Manawatu 50/50 sharemilker, manages a dairy and drystock block and comments that when buying or selling calves it is important to know who you are trading with and ensuring movement...

Meat plants impacted as halal workers stay home to grieve

[18 March/Stuff NZ] In the wake of the Christchurch Mosque attacks, meat processing plants around the country have been affected as Muslim workers stay home to grieve. Alliance , Silver Fern Farms, AFFCO New Zealand have all experienced plant closures and decreases in production over the last-couple of days as they allow time for grief....

Genomics key to smaller, efficient herds

[15 March/Rural news] World Wide Sires is calling dairy farmers to prepare for the future, with smaller, more productive herds dependent on access to superior dairy sires. Hark Lina, World Wise Sires’ General Manger for New Zealand states that demand for genomically proven bulls in the U.S is now greater than for daughter-proven with 70...

Improve NAIT reporting or face consequences

[11 March/Rural News] OSPRI warns that the NAIT accounts of farmers will have a closer watch on them, along with NAIT users who choose not to record or confirm their livestock movements. Kevin Forward, Head of NAIT reports that they are currently reconciling historical issues with farmers where movement records are incomplete. Compliance and enforcement...

Lack of Kiwi workers a problem

[13 March/Rural Life] Young New Zealanders are slow in coming forward to work for the dairy industry. Ads Hendriks, Federated Farmers Spokesperson for South Canterbury reported that after recently posted a job position, only one of nine candidates was a New Zealander, with the one New Zealander being unreliable. Mr Hendriks said he was always...

Canterbury shepherd a history-maker as Young Farmer of the Year grand finalist

[07 March/Stuff NZ] Georgie Lindsay, a 23 year old North Canterbury shepherd is the first female from the Tasman region to have ever made it to the grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year. Georgie Lindsay, won the Tasman regional final against seven other contestants and is one of only five woman...

Eugenie Sage urged to tuck away tens of millions to buy leases

[05 March/Stuff] The Environment Defence Society (EDS) have questioned how much the Government needs to get rid of tenure review in the high country, saying tens of millions is needed. Federated Farmers South Island regional policy manager Kim Reilly says the Government’s proposed changes could lock up leased land giving lessees significant rights. Federated Farmers...

Ahuwhenua finalists named

[22 February/Rural News Group] The three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori sheep and beef farm have been announced. Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture announced they are Whangara Farms, Gisborne; Te Awahohonu Forest Trust – Gwavas Station, Tikokino near Hastings and Kiriroa Station – Eugene & Pania King, Motu, near Gisborne....

Sexist comments on job ad damage New Zealand’s image, farmers warn

[19 February/Stuff NZ] Responses to a Finnish backpackers’ job advertisement are a blow to New Zealand’s image warn farmers. Mari Vahanen’s post on a Facebook farming page saying she was a hardworking farmhand or machine operator and was looking for work received 1600 responses, however majority focused on her appearance rather than her employment prospects....

Rural sector gives thumbs down to capital gains tax

[21 February/NZ Herald] Various spokespeople from within the rural sector have reported their disapproval of the capital gains tax (CGT) recommended by the Tax Working Group. CGT targets assets such as land, shares, investment properties, business assets and intellectual property. One commentator said the tax would limit farmers and the way they grow their businesses...

Pāmu lifts half-year profit

[15 February /Rural News Group] State-owned farming company Pāmu, also known as Landcorp Farming, has declared a net profit of $29 million for the six months to 31 December 2018. This compares to $21 million for the same period last year. Chief executive Steven Carden said that the increased half year profit was a pleasing...

Eugenie Sage slams the selling of Crown land to farmers under tenure review

[14 February /Radio NZ] Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage, has stated that the selling of Crown land to farmers has resulted in a loss of important landscape and ecology. Ms Sage stated New Zealanders had lost out in a process that had seen 350,000 hectares of Crown land sold to farmers and then converted to...

Government behind farmers’ slipping confidence — Guy

[12 February/Dairy News] The January Mid-Season Farm Confidence Survey from Federated Farmers suggest farmer confidence is at its lowest since 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis. National Agriculture spokesperson, Nathan Guy, noted that there are many international issues like Brexit and trade wars causing concern, most of the pessimism results from Government policies. He noted...

Nelson bush fire: It started here, but farmer’s spokesman says it’s too soon to say how

[7 February/Stuff] It is believed that a farmer ploughing a paddock in Pigeon Valley, about 30 kilometres from Nelson, could have sparked the Tasman wildfire. Fire authorities confirmed the fire started near Tasman Pine Forests land and Fire and Emergency New Zealand Regional Manager Rural, John Sutton, said it was highly likely that a tractor...

Farmer confidence slips further

[21 January/Rural News] New Zealand’s rural confidence dropped for the third consecutive quarter after a mix of concerns negatively impacting sentiment among pastoral farmers. The last quarterly survey for 2018 – completed in November – reported net farmer confidence at -15%, down from -3% recorded in the September 2018 survey. Hayley Gourley, Rabobank New Zealand...

Federated Farmers: Resources at capacity

[16 January/The Country] Federated Farmers is being forced to prioritise it focuses due to the increase of issues facing rural New Zealand, specifically during the last 12 months. Federated Farmers assist with a broad range of concerns such as rural security, livestock misappropriation, water flows, walking access, new employment laws and staff. The Mycoplasma bovis...

Prominent Waikato farmer dies within days of vacation cancer diagnoses

[11 January/Stuff] A highly respected Waikato farmer died six days after arriving back in New Zealand after being diagnosed with cancer while on a family holiday in the Netherlands. South Waikato farmer and charity worker Ian Elliott, 72, died suddenly in Waikato Hospital on Tuesday. He was the chairman of Trinity Lands, owning 21 dairy...

Farmers not buying fishing licences in protest against Fish & Game’s anti-dairying stance

[8 January/Stuff] Some farmers’ are reportedly taking a stance against Fish & Game’s anti-dairying position by not purchasing fishing licenses this season. Just under 70,000 fishing licenses were sold in the first three months, down 6,000 from the same point last year. Fish & Game have a history of a strained relationships with farmers since...

Kiwi buyers wary of organic food fraudsters ahead of new regulations

[3 January/Stuff] The organics industry in New Zealand is worth $600 million and has grown by 30% in the last couple of years. As a way to authenticate the legitimacy of organic products, the government is set to roll out a new standard in 2019 for organic production that will help reassure customers. The standard...

Farm sales bloom in spring

[20 December/Rural News] In the recent months there has been an increase in farms changing hands as reported by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ). The latest REINZ sales report shows there were 20 more farm sales (+6.3%) for the three months ended November 2018, compared to same period last year. The median price...

New chair for Pāmu Farms

[12 December/Dairy News] The Government has announced that Warren Parker has been appointed to role of chairman of state farmer Pāmu Farms (Landcorp). Mr Parker is a former chief executive of Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute) and Landcare Research, and was previously chief operating officer of AgResearch. He chairs the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group and...